Six Degrees of Separation is a monthly meme hosted by Books are my Favourite and Best.
Books can be linked in obvious ways – for example, books by the same authors, from the same era or genre, or books with similar themes or settings. Or, you may choose to link them in more personal ways: books you read on the same holiday, books given to you by a particular friend, books that remind you of a particular time in your life, or books you read for an online challenge.
A book doesn’t need to be connected to all the other books on the list, only to the ones next to them in the chain.
This month's Six Degrees begins with Normal People by Sally Rooney.
I'll use the Amazon blurb to describe this one:
Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in the west of Ireland, but the similarities end there. In school, Connell is popular and well-liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation - awkward but electrifying - something life-changing begins.
This is a major new TV series too but I haven't seen it and probably will not read the book which, as the blurb states, is set in the Republic of Ireland. As is:
Evening Class by Maeve Binchy is a delightful book about a motley group of people taking Italian at evening class. Their main reason for doing so is to travel to Italy. The same aim that three people in my next book have.
Summer at the Lake is about a disparate group of new friends who also travel to Italy for different reasons, a wedding, to bring back memories etc. Another book with 'Summer' in the title is:
Summer Half by Angela Thirkell. This is one of my favourite Thirkells, set in a school, but with all the humour and insight you would normally expect from one her gorgeous novels.
Also set in a school is:
Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey concerns Miss Pym who goes to give a lecture at a college for female prospective PE teachers and ends up staying to investigate a murder. A superb book and I've liked all of her books apart from Brat Farrar which I've yet to read.
Another book where a single lady of mature years investigates a murder is:
A Murder is Announced is, of course, a Miss Marple mystery by Agatha Christie. This one is set in the small village of Chipping Cleghorn - in The Cotswolds I would assume with a name like that - and as such was an absolutely delightful study of village life. I loved this little quote and still do:
"Miss Marple gave the [shop] window her rapt attention, and Mr. Elliot, an elderly obese spider, peeped out of his web to appraise the possibilities of this new fly"
How brilliant is that?
So today my Six Degrees post has taken me on a trip from Ireland to Italy and thence to rural England during three decades, the 1930s, 40s and 50s. The first book was called Normal People and it strikes me that every book I've chosen this time is about just that... normal, ordinary people just doing their thing.
Next month will begin with What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt.